The Reds got back on the winning track today with a 6-0 win against the Chicago Cubs. Mike Leake hurled 5.2 innings, allowing only 4 hits and no runs. What caused his early departure was walking four Cubs while throwing 107 pitches. Only 60 of those were for strikes.
The only offense the Reds needed came on a pair of groundouts in the second inning. One by Xavier Paul, who started in left field for the first time since August 25, and the other by Zack Cozart, who saw his 15-game hitting streak come to an end. Over that span of 62 plate appearances, Cozart hit .373.
Anytime you go 7-3 on a homestand, you’ll gladly take it. When you look at how the Reds fared against the three teams they faced, you kind of shake your head. Here’s what I mean…
St. Louis Cardinals: 3-1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 3-0
Chicago Cubs: 1-2
First two series provided excellent results. The last, not so much when you consider the Cubs own baseball’s fourth worst winning percentage (.392) since the All-Star break.
Let’s go back to last month. The Good Guys had taken three of four from the then suddenly surging Arizona Diamondbacks. Heading to GABP next was the then hapless Milwaukee Brewers. The Brew Crew took two of those three games. While they finished 4-3 on that seven-game homestand, better results were expected and should have occurred.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda, I know. Same to be said this time around as well.
A day off tomorrow before the Reds embark on a nine-game, ten-day road trip, their final roadie of the season. Stops include Milwaukee (3 games), Houston (3 games), and Pittsburgh (3 games). Of course, the Reds are 3-4 at Miller Park and 2-4 at PNC Park. A reversal of fortune is of extreme importance.
The series at Minute Maid Park will mark the only time this season the Astros will provide the opposition. Heading into play today, Houston has only 16 wins since the All-Star break, the least in baseball.
Editor’s Note: I would be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity on behalf of the entire Blog Red Machine staff to remember and honor those that fell during the attacks of 9/11. May the families affected continue to find comfort for their losses.